The project team visited Arikanki village on the 25th of July. We were given a warm welcome by the villagers. The community awareness took place during a vigil organized by the villagers. Parents, youths, teenagers and children from Oretu, Arikanki and the surrounding villages were present at the vigil. The director, Odunayo Aliu gave a 40-minute presentation on the role of effective education in community development. She addressed the importance of providing children with quality learning platforms in a fast-changing world, the role of alternative education. We discussed extensively on how Bramble learning space will address these issues and contribute to the development of the community.
The villagers were highly fascinated by our approach to education and the bottle house construction which would commence in August. We got interesting questions regarding the presentation which were adequately answered. Many parents and adults registered their interest in the training for bottle house construction.
One of the leaders of the community spoke on behalf of the people and thanked us for choosing to locate our permanent learning space in their community and they look forward to the start of the summer classes that would be starting on August 5. Parents were encouraged to release their children during the summer classes and also allow them engage in the building of the project.
During the visit, we mapped some the villages around Arikanki which include Fakore, Oretu, and Igbagbo. We noted other challenges faced by the people in the community which includes lack of access to clean water, erratic electricity supply, poor road network, lack of basic health care center. A bore-hole system which was constructed about 18 years ago and no longer works is the only faint memory of government promises in this community. The only public primary school in Oretu village is the one that serves over 6 other villages. It has two functional classes and operates less often than it should because of inadequate and extremely poor facilities, inadequate number of teachers and poor remuneration. There is a palm oil-producing site where a few women using the traditional method to crush out oil from kernel. This was the only business opportunity we found. The major occupation of the villagers is traditional farming.
In all, we are excited and we look forward to moving our work fully into this community.